Where are They Wednesdays: Stories of Spanish Alumni

John Van Zandt Class of 2001 - Spanish BA

Why did you study Spanish?

I liked it! And I attended the semester abroad in Santander, Spain.

How do you use Spanish now?

After graduating from UNCW I moved to Barcelona for a year to live, work, and play. Upon return to NC, I started my career teaching high school Spanish and ESL in Winston-Salem. From there I moved to Washington, DC and worked at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) for nine years managing programs for under-served Latinx immigrant youth. I met my wife (native of Chile) at LAYC and we moved to Santiago, Chile for approx. 3 years. We came back in 2010, I got my masters in public administration from American University in 2012, and we now live in Richmond, VA where I am a director at a local nonprofit providing housing support to people experiencing homelessness, some of whom are monolingual Spanish speakers. My wife and I have two beautiful children, Bastian Antonio (5), and Lucia Margarita (2 mo.), and a pit bull named June.